Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Hercules and the Seven Monkeys. And also this guy –

Hello again! Following my somewhat spontaneous seasonally-inspired departures into sermonising, I think it is time to retire my Church-of-England vicar altar-ego, along with the tinsel and the tree-lights. I would like to thank any regular readers of this blog for indulging any sentimentality that may have crept in – possibly a bit of homesickness goingContinue reading “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Hercules and the Seven Monkeys. And also this guy –”

(S)crappy New Year – a seasonal sermon

Well, I enjoyed my Christmas Eve foray into vicaring and sermonising so much, that I think I’ll do it again. Blessings and compliments of the season to you. I’m saying “the season” rather than “Happy New Year”, because this time of year has always seemed more like a trajectory to me, than a series ofContinue reading “(S)crappy New Year – a seasonal sermon”

Peas be with You

As a reverend gentleman of the cloth hailing from the leafy and undramatic Home Counties of England [non-Brits, think: “The Shire”], in an unscheduled departure from usual programming, I have decided to exercise for the first time, my God & Queen-given right to compose a cozy Christmas homily. Were I to do this in lineContinue reading “Peas be with You”

More Fun Than a Treefull of Monkeys

I devoted much of the previous post to underlining the rather large amount of failure, destruction, and death that attend a problem like chronic addiction, and then enumerating and discussing some powerful forces which are aligned against us when we embark on a quest for freedom. Things with catchy names like “despair”, and “self-pity”. SoContinue reading “More Fun Than a Treefull of Monkeys”

Tree – mend us

So, it took me nearly 6 months of procrastination deep reflection and research to come up with the last blog post, in which I then rashly gave myself a fortnight to come up with this one. I have decided that deadlines and structures are good for me (much as I resist them), while “getting aroundContinue reading “Tree – mend us”

The Devil made me do it…

Hello! So, after a hiatus of several months, I’m back on the blog. Why? When I first put these pieces up online, in early 2021, my initial motivation was: After nearly a year of travel restrictions, we had seen hardly any non-Thai patients at the detox in Thamkrabok monastery. Speaking to old friends back inContinue reading “The Devil made me do it…”

Prologue: “Monks, All is Burning”

First published June 13th 2020 “Monks – all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?” – The Fire Sermon, Samyuta Nikaya 35.28 I had a fairly typical upbringing in England. In some respects, anyway, but certainly insofar as: you can safely assume that Buddhist monks weren’t really something that I thought aboutContinue reading “Prologue: “Monks, All is Burning””

Monks ‘n’ Drugs ‘n’ Rock‘n’Roll

First published: July 5, 2020, Plus Seven In the previous piece I discussed the personal impact of seeing the image of Venerable Quang Duc on fire. Profound as that was – establishing my idea of monks as formidable, righteous, worthy of great respect, and definitely onto something – it was only an underlying condition thatContinue reading “Monks ‘n’ Drugs ‘n’ Rock‘n’Roll”

Fellowship of the Bling

Part the Third: First published August 4, 2020 Plus Seven The last article was mainly a story of internal drama. Externally, what was now happening was that I was in a communal room with half-a-dozen assorted westerners, inside a walled compound containing around fifty detox patients overseen by eight or nine monks. This, in turn,Continue reading “Fellowship of the Bling”

Jedi Hobbit

Part IV: In which popular-culture references begin to spiral out of control. First published August 4, 2020 Plus Seven The Force Awakens 31st December 2002, Chris and I had been through the worst of it, and were rediscovering eating and sleeping. Although we were still quite ragged in many ways, our health and moods wereContinue reading “Jedi Hobbit”