Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Happy Holidays!!!

Updated on 10 December 2010

I feel as if I’m being drawn into a worm hole wondering if there is light at the end of the tunnel or whether it is just the eye of a storm.

In preparation for my retreat as described below, I updated and reviewed all my blog articles. So, if there was an article that you liked in particular, please check to see if it has been updated.

Because I won’t be using the computer, I also unsubscribed from all unwanted and non-essential emails. I was amazed at how many there were. A New Year’s resolution is to keep the junk mail out of my inbox!

I also went to the local library and borrowed a few simple books to assist with my project as follows:

2. Anam Cara, John O’Donohue

3. The Dhammapada, Anne Bancroft (ed.)

4. The challenge of the mind, Okawa Ryuha

As for my vow of silence, I came across this on the Internet: one of John O’Donohue’s great influences, the German mystic Meister Eckhart, believed that nothing resembles God like silence and O'Donohue suggested that the highly strung character of western life was explained by the absence of silence. "When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude, and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on a new warmth, adventure and wonder." (from the Guardian Obituary for John O'Donohue, author of Anam Cara as mentioned above).

Also, I received an email recently in which it was stated that originally the Festive season was not about being merry and jolly but more about being spiritual/contemplative. So I’m really looking forward to this experience!  But I'm also looking forward to bringing in the New Year with some traditional noise!  Best wishes to all!

Above photo credit - Astonomy Expert on What are Wormholes?

I'm writing to let my readers know that I’ll be going on a 21-day retreat starting on 11 December 2010 and ending on 1 January 2011. So I won’t be reading about agri-food law and policy and related matters or writing on my blog for awhile. I started a winding down process on 30 November to get ready.

This retreat is sort of like hibernating, except I won’t be staying indoors the whole time. The purpose is to take time out to reflect on the year that is ending, contemplate the spiritual relevance of the season, and meditate on positive visions for the future.

During the retreat, I will not be using the computer at all or any phone. I’ll not be shopping or spending money (except what comes out of my account by direct debit!). I will practice yoga and meditation every day, especially with relaxation exercises and breathing techniques. I’ll also take walks in nature and visit my allotment.

Finally, I am taking a vow of silence (already started to practice). This vow is taken in a spiritual sense as an aid to the practice of good, to prevent evil, and even as a wholesome penance. To further keep in the silent mode, I won’t listen to the radio or music and will continue to abstain from TV.

Like a squirrel, I’m stocking up on my organic, whole foods. Unlike the squirrel though, the supply will only be to last for three weeks!! If there's a snow storm here in Peterborough, UK, at least I’ll be prepared for it!

Many thanks for the thousands of pageviews from all over the world since I started in July.  Thanks also for the kind comments.  New comments will be welcome again starting in January.  My blog has been a steep learning curve for me, yet I've enjoyed it very much. I plan to provide more informative, no-nonsense, but hopefully amusing nonetheless posts right through 2011. I’m sure it will be an exciting year for the B'org Food Chain and hope that many will continue to visit my blog often.

Best Wishes for the Joyous Season!!!

Lots of Love X

Photo credit – Nasa, A star cluster in the Small Magellanic Cloud