Content May Shift During Transit

It’s a difficult thing to practise contentment; not only do you have to keep reminding yourself of it but there’s a tendency for discontent to creep in everywhere; so if you’re not careful you can end up in the somewhat ridiculous situation of being discontented about the practice of contentment. (I’m too discontented.  I don’t have enough contentment.  I must be more contented…)  And then your head explodes.

So the trick is to be contented with the degree to which you are able to practise contentment – and then, with a wave of the wand and a cry of riddikulus! you’ll be doing it anyway.  Discontent really is a Boggart pretending to be a Dementor – we need to laugh at it and it will go away.

Contentment is a necessary antidote to a society where work of all kinds becomes increasingly demanding: a society where you hit one target and are immediately presented with another.  This is sometimes seen as a virtue but according to Yoga philosophy* it’s anything but.  Discontent is the thief of life and the destroyer of satisfaction.  What is the point of achieving your goals if you never enjoy it?  I could go on and on about the need to avoid end-gaining in yoga but that’s enough for today.

*and not only yoga philosophy: Buddhism also emphasises it and it is implicit in the practices of Christianity (here‘s a blog that makes the link and also has a really good quiz to test your own level of contentment).

This is a very short blog post and doesn’t say as much as I’d hoped.  Nevertheless, I am contented with its contents…

Kirk out



Cloudy with a Chance of Thali

Well, the theme for today is prose, and like the man who discovered to his surprise that he’d been speaking prose all his life, yesterday I discovered I’d been writing prose all day.  It started with a couple of facebook updates and then an email to Arriva complaining about the buses (the 104 ALWAYS leaves early in the evening); then I wrote a draft letter to the Bishop (don’t ask) followed by some comments in my diary.

We then spent a good half-hour lying on our backs in the park (Mark had jogged once round the perimeter before deciding he was out of practice) and watching the clouds.  If you want to forget the world and its problems I thoroughly recommend lying on your back and watching the clouds.  Yesterday there were thick white ones piled high like Douglas Hurd’s hair; pale filigree ones twisting like delicate vases in the high-up winds; low grey ones passing quickly on the horizon – and then a black form crept underneath everything like a Dementor coming for Harry Potter – and like Harry and Dudley we had to run.  Mark just about rescued the washing before the heavens opened on us, though Daniel wasn’t so lucky and returned from a trip to Tesco’s sopping wet and furious.

It’s Mark’s birthday today.  I have given him a Chris Conway CD:

which was delivered personally by the artist (thanks Chris) and as part of the celebrations we shall be going to Mirch Masala where I will almost certainly have a thali.

Kirk out