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Rip off world

Whether it's motorway service stations or the big supermarkets, I can't help feeling that we're being taken advantage of.

I understand that there's a profit to be made, but who's actually making the real profit?

It's conjecture, but not the producer.

As a case in point, yesterday we went into a tiny Turkish store that had been recommended to my eldest daughter as the go-to place for humous and bread.

We bought a 0.5kg tub of humous for £2.49 and a huge piece of fresh bread for £1. And today over breakfast and lunch, we've well and truly filled our boots.

I know, being a big consumer of humous from all the major outlets and, even, the local health food store in Totnes, that this amount of humous would cost us in excess of £10 and the bread at least £3.50. Now perhaps this shop doesn't want to or isn't making a profit but I very much doubt it. 

I accept that this is my personal opinion but there's something niggling me knowing that with all the excess packaging, the road miles and the marketing, we're all paying a very high price for wanting such extraordinary choice. 

Perhaps that's it: we all need to reduce our expectations, buy from local producers and, where appropriate, protest with our feet in not accepting these exorbitant prices.

What do you think?

Do you think we're being ripped off?



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I'm back 🙏

“Be — don't try to become”
― Osho

So, we survived the 400-mile round trip to London.

It was lovely to see my eldest daughter, Evie, and to spend some time in her new flat and to have lunch together in a wonderful Turkish restaurant. 

London can be...amazing at times.

And now?

I'm here.

I'm typing these few words, and feel blessed.


Because, life, despite its (apparent) contradictions, is still a mind-blowing 'experience'. I know it doesn't always — sometimes never — feel like that but when we're gone, well, we're not here to experience any of it.

Today I'll mostly be catching up with housework, preparing for the week ahead and, yes, going to the gym with my youngest daughter, Florrie. She's really got the bug and I feel privileged to have this time with her. I know in a few years time she'll have left home and will be doing her thing.

I'll spend a bit of time reading and walking the dog but I won't be doing so with any expectation. They will both happen and I'll fully immerse myself in each moment.

What about you?

Do you have any plans? Do share.

I'll check in later for sure; I've missed seeing what everyone's been up. 



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Zen Mountain Monastery

My favourite zen priest, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi talks about Chau Chou's three turning words

"Huik’e stood in the snow all night outside of Bodhidharma’s cave. Mother Theresa looked for Christ in the knowing smile between caregiver and cared for, even as she struggled at times to feel connected with God. In this talk from January’s New Year Sesshin, Shugen Roshi asks, what for you constitutes putting your faith on the line?"

He has a wonderful way of describing the teachings of zen.



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Hello friends

I should have tried to get back to sleep but 4 am was the appointed hour.

A very good morning to you wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Today's quote is:

“Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.”
― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

And it's no accident, honest. 

It's what it is, namely, this day is not preparation for something else.

It is It.

The whole thing — good, bad or meh!

Of course, we want it always to be this way and no other way, but to the ego or in a dualistic world, even nirvana would end up being like everything else — i.e. dull.

I know, I'm on my soapbox again, but it's only when we examine the unexamined portion of our lives that we start to wonder why it is, despite extensive seeking, we can't find a place of equanimity?

Guess what: it's not out there.


You can have as much wealth, money, fame and, even, good looks, and life still sucks. Well at least did for the Buddha and those people who adorn all those fashionable magazines. It might outwardly look bloody perfect but there's a curse of misery hanging heavy in the air. (I generalise but you get my point.)

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