Sunday, 6 November 2016

Climate Change - What Difference Do I Make? ...

The other day I watched Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary with National Geographic on Climate Change. I urge you to take the time to watch it. It was a pretty in-your-face doco although it probably didn't go far enough, still it is worth watching to to see the scale of things.

 The loss of rain forests to make way for palm oil plantations, the mining of oil sands in Canada, the ignorance of some politicians around the world who deny there is any change. 

The loss and early melting of the Greenland ice sheet (in 2016 the giant ice sheets were melting at least a month earlier than typical during the three decades). The increase in damaging cyclones, monsoons, hurricanes. The island nations that are underwater.

I know there are a lot of idiots out there who don't believe it's happening. For me, whatever the reason, I know it is. One only has to look at your neighbourhood - the crazy weather, the plants flowering way too early - to know that something is happening.

Whether it's from our own fault or just the natural cycle of things I wonder if we've passed the tipping point. It worries me what sort of world my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will inherit. Will governments around the world wake up in time and do something?

I try to do as much as I can in my own small way. I have solar electricity, solar hot water. I recycle all the time, I re-use as much as I can, reduce waste. I use my own shopping bags, if I buy a coffee or tea while I'm out I have my own take-away cup (I always keep at least one in the car). I don't buy bottled water - I fill a reusable bottle from the tap and keep that in the fridge - if you're worried about 'things' in the tap water, you can easily filter it.

I have planted a number of trees on my property to help reduce my carbon footprint. I rarely eat meat - maybe once every few months if that. I throw on a sweater in winter before I use heating. I'm lucky if I do 4000km a year in my car.

Simple things like turning off chargers, electrical equipment when not in use rather than leaving them on standby; 5 minute showers; taking your own bags to the supermarket, eating less meat, are all simple easily achievable things and if we all did them it would add up.

A few years back I joined 1 Million Woman - with other like-minded women and girls to do whatever we can in our own lives to act on climate change by making these small changes in our everyday lives.

You're probably thinking it's all very well to do things on a personal level, why should I and if governments aren't doing anything to help what good we our meagre effort do?

Well maybe not a lot but at least we tried. If I came back in 100 years and spoke with my great-grandkids I could at least say I did try.

I remember  discussing the issue with someone a number of years ago and his reply was 'that he'd be dead in 50 years so why bother?' He felt anything he did wouldn't impact so what was the use? He said it was the natural cycle of things and you couldn't change it.

Well yes it may be the natural cycle but we have sped it up. I couldn't live with my conscience if I didn't at least make some attempt to help.

Okay I've tried not to rant and get on my soapbox - this means a lot to me ... lol. Let's all work together to help Planet Earth - at the moment she's all we have. She'll survive even when we don't but I'd like to think my descendants will be around in at least a few hundred years and are not treading water or building arks in their backyards. I hope they can look back and say 'well the people of the world saw the problem and did what they could and we are thankful.'

To finish here are a couple of videos that push the point home.

For more information about this study visit Berkeley Earth video representation of the land surface temperature anomaly, 1800 to the present.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Nan Tien Temple ...

So I took a drive down to the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple at Berkley in the Wollongong area. Trying to get those K's up on my new car. I often go there, it's always so relaxing and I love it.

Everything was so green. The grounds are beautiful and so clean. I spent a few hours either walking or inside the massive prayer hall of the 5 Buddhas with 10,000 smaller Buddha statues.

Inside the main temple I spent fifteen minutes praying - or rather chanting my mantra and meditating. I use Mali beads to keep track of my chanting.

After I walked down to the smaller prayer hall of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva  (Kuan Yin in Chinese) to think on the Dharma and the Four Truths and meditate more. It's impossible to feel anything but calm and relaxed after being at Nan Tien.

Around 12:30 I was feeling thirsty so went down to the little tea house they have on the grounds rather than the main restaurant which was rather busy.

Ordered some delicious Curry Puffs and a pot of Mountain Blend Tea - both were delicious. I love when you order Chinese teas they come in a small black teapot and the cup is a tiny matching one. They are similar to these but the cup was much, much smaller and more squared.

 Once I finished I went back to where I'd parked my car near the pagoda and went inside to burn incense and go through with my Mali beads again.

If you are ever driving around Wollongong area and have some time to spare take a detour and enjoy the temple - you won't be disappointed.

It is a lift if climbing stairs are hard fully and it is also accessible to wheelchairs.

Around December to February the Lotus Pond is in bloom, unfortunately I was too early to see any flowers but I have been there during the season and it is spectacular.

I took lots of photos that visit of the lovely blooms and fed the greedy fish.

The pond is huge and as well as being filled with lotus plants it is home to hundreds of Koi.

You can stay on the grounds - I've been to meditation retreats there. They also have classes/talks on Buddhism, the Four Truths, Five Precepts, Triple Gem, etc.

On the way home I went the long way via Picton so managed to clock up a few extra kilometres - now have 630 on the clock ... lol. Next week I intend to drive up to Katoomba and that should add another 160.