Author: bone&silver

More photos from the Australian desert during a silent bushwalking adventure, with brumbies & a camel (Part Two)

Hello folks, and welcome to Part Two of my Yatra photo blog; Part One is here. Remember, a Yatra is a silent, meditative walk, a journey from the quiet heart… Except when it’s not. Wild brumbies galloped down the rocky river bed one night, making me fear for my tent and belongings. A sick-sounding camel moaned its way along the river bank, and the nightly howl of dingoes (both far and near) reminded me that we were out in the Australian desert, a long way from safety and suburbia! Not to mention the sometimes-very-annoying habits of my fellow travellers, particularly snoring. But that’s in another post 🙂 From the big to the small, I loved it. The chance to walk, think, rest, meditate, walk, swim (SO COLD), eat vegetarian food, and walk more, with like-minded folks of all types and ages, was such a blessing. I did one a year ago HERE, and really hope I get to do another next year, and every year after that… Yatra Australia pick different places to explore (this …

Photos from the Australian desert during a silent bushwalking adventure, with a vegetarian cook & dingoes (Part One)

Hello folks, I’m back from the yatra, as calm and settled as can be nowadays. “What’s a yatra”, some of you wonder? This explains it, from the Yatra Australia website: “A yatra is a unique journey providing a special environment to engage with and enquire deeply into the potential of ‘human awakening.’ In the company of like-minded people, it takes place within some of the most pristine landscapes of our natural world. A yatra offers an integrative experience, combining physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual explorations in a secular environment. Being primarily based in the Buddhist tradition we also respect and draw from the wealth of many other wisdom traditions such as yoga, advaita, tao, modern science and tribal cultures. A flexible combination of yoga, meditation, silent walking, dharma teachings, experiential exercises, story telling around the camp- fire, wholesome meals and our intuitive way of ceremony and creative expression support an unfolding process. Got it? Let’s get on with it then. So we flew to Alice Springs, got the 4WD bus out towards Palm Valley (2 …

From Brooklyn to the Bush: going out to the Australian desert for some silence

Hello folks- do any of you recall my Yatra last year, meditating and walking the South Coast national park after the terrible bushfires, with a group of mainly over 50s? It was stunning, and even made me delete the Candy Crush app, check the post HERE for details. Well, I’m going again. But this time, to Alice Springs in central Australia, hiking along the Finke River: “The Finke River, or Larapinta (Arrernte), is a river in central Australia, one of four main rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin and thought to be the oldest riverbed in the world. It flows for only a few days a year and when this happens, its water usually disappears into the sands of the Simpson Desert, rarely if ever reaching Lake Eyre.” (Wikipedia) I’m very excited, as you can see from this freshly-snapped selfie as I type! And my living room is a mess, as I air all my thermals and sleeping bag, trying to pack minimally yet effectively. Last-minute washing needs to dry, and I can’t decide whether to take poles or not… So for once, …

Farewell New York, you were great, thank you

It’s been an action-packed three weeks, and now I’m so ready for home in Australia. I’ve ticked off every item on my ‘Must Do/See’ list, including: Central Park, the Met/Whitney/Guggenheim/New Museum/Brooklyn Museum, Coney Island, ferry past Statue of Liberty, Manhattan walks, Brooklyn Bridge, Red Hook, Roosevelt Island, and 10-15kms/day of street strolling. I also got to walk & talk all through the Botanic Gardens with fellow blogger LA, which was an unexpected treat. I’ve discovered the joys of Van Leuwen’s vegan ice cream, plus the widely-available bakeries & Mexican food all through Brooklyn, & of course Key Lime Pie. My brother’s wedding was wonderful- I got to walk him down the aisle- and my speech went down well too (phew). The last week has just been relaxing at his apartment, getting to know he & his lovely wife (they have been together for 10 years but she & I have only met once before for 24hrs in a barn in France); I am SO LUCKY & grateful to have spent this time together after so …

No more travel quarantine in Australia, so now I’m in New York

Yes, you read that right Folks. After 2 years not going anywhere or doing much at all, I have impulsively flown to the Big Apple for 3 weeks! I have a great motivation too: after postponing twice due to Covid of course, my dear brother is getting married in Manhattan. In 2020, I was taking my son as well- I had a suit made to measure- it was very exciting… and then Covid/lockdowns/quarantines etc- literally no planes flying out of Australia. After a little tantrum, I surrendered. And have been carving spoons, gardening, & pottering around in the rainforest. But right now, I’m in New York New York. Brooklyn for a week, Manhattan for 5 days near the wedding venues, then back to Brooklyn. I AM HAVING THE BEST TIME! Walking, walking, walking. People watching. Eating. Listening. Smelling. More walking. Yesterday I stepped out 13.3kms, and today was 14 as I crossed back and forth over the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve never made a blog post on my phone, tapping away in my cute Airbnb, so …

There are simply no words for me in these times

Greetings from the Australian rainforest, where birds sing soggy songs after so much rain. The sun is elbowing clouds aside as best it can, and I am grateful to see the small holes of blue coming and going. Today is my dear dead Dad’s birthday, and I’m staying quietly at home. Normally, as my honouring ritual, I oil his antique French furniture; this year, there’s too much mould trying to get a grip, so I’m refusing to feed the spores with expensive linseed and orange blossom. Today is also the monthly Women’s Dharma Day meditation meeting, and I needed it so much. More than I knew. As I wrote last time, I’ve been volunteering daily with Resilient Lismore, a Facebook group formed to help my nearby beloved Lismore (and surrounds) deal with flood recovery. It started in 2017, as a response to the Cyclone Debbie flood, with 3000 members. Now we’ve had 2 catastrophic floods a month apart, including landslides and massive devastation, so subsequently have almost 30,000 members. I’m one of the team of …

COVID-19 got me, then a catastrophic flood: valid excuses for not blogging?

Hi everyone, long time no see. Sorry I’ve been ‘missing in WordPress action’, it’s been a terrible 6 weeks here in Australia. On a personal level, I finally caught Covid, despite being super cautious for 2 years! It was bound to happen: my darling son Nearly22 brought it unknowingly into the home, despite 3 negative RATs & a negative PCR… *sigh I hoped I may be fine (we were only together for a few hours, but one of them was in the car), plus returned 2 negative RATs & a negative PCR, then on Day 6 since my exposure, I was hit by a sledgehammer of chills/aches/red eyes/nausea/fatigue/dizziness/brain fog. It was horrible. I was one of the last people I know to get it, so luckily I had regular soothing phone calls about what to expect, what to take, & what may happen next. I literally spent 10 days in my pyjamas, dragging myself from bed to kitchen to couch to bed. Dosing myself every 1-2 hours, as well as eucalyptus steam baths, became almost …

Why is Boris still there- doesn’t honour/honor matter anymore?

I emigrated from England to Australia in 1986, desperate to escape the destruction of the Thatcher years; I still see the dark seeds of her reign flowering. But Boris is a whole new level of distress. WHY IS HE STILL PRIME MINISTER? How can he have hosted social events in his home while the whole country was in lockdown?? My Mum was shut in her room in her nursing home; her sister couldn’t even visit, and when they were finally allowed to connect, it was via a closed bay window looking onto the carpark where my Aunt stood, speaking on the phone, although they could see each other. Boris Johnson’s birthday party is among 12 events being investigated by police, according to an initial report on 16 gatherings by Sue Gray (it’s called ‘PartyGate’). There are allegations of garden parties, DJs, and suitcases full of alcohol. A culture of ‘excessive drinking’ has been highlighted. This is the Prime Minister: why is he still in charge? How can he just REFUSE to step down? Come on …

Meditation? Seven days on, seven days off

One of my last posts invited Readers to join me using the Insight Timer app to meditate daily. Or to share your own personal meditation/quiet-solo-time practices. *sigh I was so inspired by myself and my post, I checked in to the app every day, and religiously sat to meditate. Until I didn’t. Then a week went by, and I still didn’t. Now it’s been two weeks, and I’m continuing to not sit. *sigh One of my three New Year’s eve intentions was to not be self-critical; I do absolutely love myself, and all my flaws (not that there’s many haha), BUT I will still be quick to criticise myself sometimes- like most of us, I’m guessing. So I’m trying to resist feeling disappointed with my lack of meditation discipline, and admit that I’ve been on holidays/had visitors/been housesitting etc. *sigh Still, it’s not THAT hard to find five or ten minutes to sit quietly is it G? Is it sabotage? Am I truly just a lazy person? Do I have no self-discipline? *sigh How easy …

I know this is so wrong… but I promise I’ll do it today…

… I think the devil made me do it 🙂 I know one reader in particular (Hi P!) is going to tear his hair out at my folly. What’s a dumb thing you can’t help doing, even though you absolutely KNOW you shouldn’t? Drive a bit too far before filling up with petrol? Too long time between dentist appointments? (Damn, I do that too). Release your foolish failures here, it’s a safe space 🙂 In gratitude for being silly sometimes, without huge repercussions, G xO