Uttaraloka Sketches 05

October 2021

I have spent this summer in the UK, either on my narrowboat on the Llangollen Canal or visiting friends around the UK. I spent a little time cruising along the canal but mostly I was giving the boat a repaint and some much needed maintenance. She looks rather more cared for now. I enjoyed my time on the boat and decided to hold onto her for a few more years – hopefully spending the summer months on board. My visits to friends included a tour of North Wales, a couple of visits to Bristol and Alfoxton House, and quick trips to London and Cambridge. I didn’t get to see everyone I’d have liked to visit, but overall I felt well connected with old friends again.

In mid September I returned to Uttaraloka and sorted out a few things at Uttaraloka before the four men who are going to join me for the Autumn three-month retreat arrived. Amoghavamsa, Maitrivasin, and Prajnahridaya – all from Sheffield – arrived and a few days later Vidyaruci joined us. We have already established a program and I am pleased to be settling into a more ‘internal’ life for the next few months.

Since I’m now, hopefully, going into a more meditative mode I thought I’d send you a series of ‘postcards’ from Jade Mountain – the name I give to the Realm of Meditation – written in previous years.

If you are interested in other things that I have written or some photos take a look at my website. It needs a sort out but there might be something of interest: www.manjuvajra.org

Jade Mountain

    I left the world far too late.
    Busy doing this and that.
    And no one remembers my name.
    For travel on Jade Mountain,
    I have a fine compass,
    And some old rutters1
    But no map.
    The ground of my faith:
    Peace can be found in the mind
    When grasping the Five2 ceases.
     All I have to do is – nothing.
    But that is such a difficult task,
    I do not know where to begin
    Sitting before two massive gates
    In a solid rock wall.
    Just waiting for them to open.
    The wild, prancing pony of the mind
    Grows calm and steady:
    Jade Mountain comes into view.
    Jade Mountain is hard to find
    But when you’re there
    It’s been close all the time.
    Climbing Jade Mountain is very strange.
    Sometimes you fly up,
    Sometimes you dive down,
    Sometimes you just stand still.
    The path to Jade Mountain is
    Narrow, hard to find.
    Alone, one tastes beauty.
    A yogi needs to be alone.
    How else can he hear
    The silent song of angels.
     Seeing the distant Diamond Peak.
    Even from so far away.
    The path is clear and firm.
    Returning from Jade Mountain
    Now hidden in cloud.
    Did we see the Diamond Peak?
    1  Before charts were invented sailors used written descriptions, called rutters, to navigate.
    2  Skandhas