Home Time! | Jade Mountain Buddha Hall


It will soon be ‘home time’. Primary school was marked by playtime(s) and HOME TIME, (not always marked by a bell). The end of the school day was the very best. Eventually, we went to the crate, picked up our third-of-a-pint of milk, and (paper) straw. Pushing in the straw through the cardboard top, perforated into a perfect circle,  we drank our health (not that we knew that personally at the time).

Interesting isn’t it, how one remembers with sharp clarity, those moments of transition marked by ‘ceremony’. After the bottles went back in the crate we returned to our ‘place’, put our chairs on the tables ready for the cleaner – (I asked) and then a moment of silence, perhaps a short prayer (it was a C of E School after all). I don’t remember a bell, just the teacher saying ‘home time’ (as good as a bell).

At the end of kitchen clean-up here at the monastery, a ceremony (of sorts). “Rack coming down.” somebody calls (a physical safety warning – needed). We stand quietly together hanging the wet tea towels on the drying rack. Hometime? (As a body, we depart the kitchen – with an apple or orange, sometimes a leftover). No bell just a doing-it-together routine marking a transition from gathered activity to…the next thing. A walk, tea. A post-lunch snack! A short nap?

Transitions, marked or unmarked. Marked by choice. Always we live in the presence of constant choice. Another of my remembered quotes from my handwritten notes in my Book of Wisdom. Gleaned in my teens.

Now time
is home time
no bell needed
exercising choice

A moments pause
the ceremony
of stopping
and we are

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