Zen gardening

Dear Diary,

As a follower of the Buddha's teachings, I have an interest in all things Buddhist.  I follow the Secular Buddhist path which means I don't believe in religious Buddhism.  I've studied all the major schools of Buddhism and found Zen to be of great interest. At one time, for a number of years, I practiced Zen.  I have moved on since then but I still use some of the practices I learned in that time.

A concise definition of Zen is "a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasising the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or the study of scriptures" (taken from the Google Dictionary).

Zen gardens are well-known in the West.  The strategic placement of rocks, gravel, trees, statues and the like is a meditation practice for the Zen Buddhist.  the placement of objects and raking of the gravel has symbolic meaning.  The quiet and focused work in the garden is meditation. The garden's simplicity is meant to bring the practitioner into…

Berets for days

Dear Diary,
I wear a beret because mein Vati wears one. Well, he has more than one: French, Basque, Italian, Spanish, Czech/Slovak.  The are all pretty much the same, some are smaller than others or are made of thicker fulled (felted) wool.  Berets are traditionally black but they do appear in colours from time to time.  Archeology has shown that hats similar to the beret were worn in the Bronze Age.  What we know today as the "French" and "Spanish" beret come from the south of France in the province of BĂ©arn and the Basque country in Spain.

Size is important but more important is how it's worn on the head and how it's shaped.  It can be worn pushed forward (farmer style):

Or sitting centered on the head:

Or pushed to one side or the other: