Saturday, November 5, 2011

Buddist Spirituality in Whangarei and Guy Fawkes

Yesterday after meditating on the grinds and downhills, I was pleased to find that Rosemary who we are visiting with in Whangarei attends a regular Tibetan teaching on Sundays at the Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling, a Tibetan Buddist Centre established in Whangarei in 1997.

The centre has the most outstanding view of the Whangarei area and they are welcoming to visitors to take a walk around and enjoy the view from the Enlightenment Stupa (Peace Monument) overlooking the community.The teachings this morning were given in Tibetan and kindly translated after we sang meditations and devotions. All this was followed by tea and bisquits and walking around the Stupa.

In stark contrast, last night was all about Guy Fawkes night which was quite ruckous and scared one of Rosemary's and Derrick's dogs - Bracken whose photograph is below. She is five.
Mr. Benji wasn't scared - he is two and can see quite well behind his bangs.

Quiet Guy Fawkes Night reported by the NZ News Wire:

"Emergency services have reported a relatively quiet Guy Fawkes night, with no reports of major fires or serious injuries caused by fireworks.
Four children are reported to have been hospitalised with burn injuries, two with eye injuries and two with minor burns, while police around the country say they had a busy night but nothing serious was reported.
For the Fire Service it was a "steady" night in the upper North Island, while there were 115 fire callouts in the SouthIsland, although not all for fireworks-related incidents."It was really quiet," Fire Service central communications shift manager Mike Wanoa told NZ Newswire. "It's one of those things. It was very much the same last year."
The 1135 tonnes of fireworks imported this year is slightly higher than the 1116 tonnes in 2010.
The relatively quiet night, also reported by St John, comes as a survey by the Sunday Star-Times shows the majority of New Zealanders now want the sale of fireworks banned.
The survey of 3500 readers found 53 per cent support banning their sale, while 44 per cent want to retain the status quo.
Four years ago the legal purchase age rose from 14 to 18 and the sales period shrank to the four days before Guy Fawkes.
Safety fears for humans and animals were the reasons given for a ban.
Of the parents in the survey, 66 per cent say they still buy them, many saying it is their right to free choice and that letting off fireworks teaches responsibility.
ACC injury claims from fireworks incidents dropped from 461 to 275 after sale were tightened in 2007. Injuries have cost taxpayers $1.5 million in ACC claims over the past five years.Burns made up two-thirds of claims but there were also claims for lacerations, bruising and foreign objects landing in eyes."

So you ask, for those of you who aren't British - what the heck is Guy Fawkes? Just google it and you will see a good reason why it's celebrated in NZ as well - a great excuse to set off crackers and fireworks!

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