September’s Autumn colours, two peace song recordings, a fireside version of an own song and two short films.
“The issue is whether we are determined to go in the direction of compassion or not. If we are, then can we reduce the suffering to a minimum, If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north. This is to work for peace”
Thich Nhat Hanh
I spent this September involved in 2 projects I’ll share about this journal post, the Kirby Misperton Water Protectors in Yorkshire and the The Arms Fair Campaigns in London.
For over a year now campaigners have been raising awareness around Fracking in Yorkshire. This is the extraction of gas by forcing water into the earth to fracture and release it – (much online if you’d like to search – and this article from Greenpeace explains why people are coming together to say they don’t want fracking to happen).
A few weeks ago, myself and some friends joined some of the Plum Village monastics to help host a weekend on peace and the environment on the site of the Kirby Misperton Water Protector’s camp in Yorkshire near to a planned fracking site. In tents for the few nights, we had a schedule of morning and evening meditation, sharings, meals together and talks by the monastics inspired by their years of peace activist experience supporting the work of their teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, quoted above.
I was entrsted to lead some songs during the days and here is a recording of us singing ‘When I Rise’ from one of the morning gatherings.
Thanks to all who make the space possible – The camp is held by a dedicated and warm group of friends I feel touched to now call my friends. Anyone is welcome to support them and you can their details and what’s happening here.
Here’s a video of a recent own song ‘Let Yourself Be Seen’ from one of the camp’s fireside sharings.
In London for a few months I have been moved by another campaign group working to peacefully protest the Arms Fair at the Excel Centre. The Arms fair has been in London each 2 years over the last 4, and is the biggest buying and selling of Arms and related systems in the world. The activists, some I’ve also now come to know as friends, have taken this difficult and challenging event and worked to raise awareness about what an alternative future could look like.
I was there this year with the Quakers and Plum Village, alongside Amnesty International, The Green Party, Caat, and many other organisations demonstrating.
This video gives the feeling and features the folk/spiritual ‘Down By The Riverside’ I sang at ‘The Festival of Resistance’ on the Saturday.
And below a full recording of the song from All Saints in Peckham.