My father Kenneth (1922-2003) was a builder. By profession he was a quantity surveyor, but he spent most of his actual work life supervising constructions - bridges, roads, a power station, civic buildings, an army encampment… He was justly proud of these achievements.

He was a warrior. During the Second World War he was a bomber pilot and did two tours of operations over Germany, which was exceedingly dangerous. Not many survived. In consequence he ended the war with a heap of medals. A hero. A man of masculine virtues and hidden grief.

He was a handsome man and could be charming, but was also rather solitary by nature. In his spare time he became a skilled carpenter and made many pieces of furniture. He enjoyed the solitude of his workshop and the garden, and was more at ease with plants and timber than with people.

He taught me to play tennis and to play chess. He gave me a philosophy of “grasping the nettle” and being bold. He was a man of action rather than philosophy, had no tight ideological affiliation and had voted for all the major political parties on different occasions.

I draw from him a sense of strength and practicality, that it is as important to know how to lose gracefully as to give everything one has got to a task. “Faint heart never won fair lady,” but “Don’t fight battles you can’t win.”

He was my second great teacher, after my mother. In childhood, I admired him. In adolescence and young adulthood, I fought him. In later years, I respected him. Nowadays I often hear his voice and have repartee with him in my head. Sometimes the words that issue from my mouth are his, and when I notice this I smile.

Last updated by David Brazier Nov 28, 2017.

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WEEP FOR OUR WORLD

Posted by David Brazier on August 20, 2019 at 21:38 2 Comments



At the moment I am feeling very sad for the state of the planet. As I write the great forests are being consumed by fire, both the tropical forest in Brazil and the tundra forest in Russia. The great forests are the lungs of the earth. I myself have lung problems. When there are parts of the lungs that don’t work anymore one can run out of energy. It can strike suddenly. We will probably not do anything serious about climate change or wildlife extinction…

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MY MEDICAL CONDITION

Posted by David Brazier on June 26, 2019 at 18:04 10 Comments

My medical condition continues to be a mystery. It is clear that I do not have any of the big nasty things - brain tumour, cracked skull, stroke, etc - as these have been ruled out by MRI investigation. Nonetheless I continue to have persistent, continuous head pain that varies in intensity and I become exhausted by the least effort so that I am functioning like an invalid incapable of doing very much. There is always a possibility that the whole syndrome is a…

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Grace.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on June 2, 2019 at 1:02 4 Comments

“Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark Valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us… Continue

Sit

Posted by Geeta Chari on April 26, 2019 at 22:13 3 Comments

This is a short video of a Buddhist monk and his family. 

It raised questions on parenting and Buddhism - does detachment (or perhaps quietism), as practiced here, lead to demotivation and disengagement with the world around one?

His children find the detachment practised by the monk disquieting. They appreciate the irony of detachment, which is supposed to…

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