Showing posts with label Buddhist in London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddhist in London. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sabrina's London Diaries- The End of an Era ~ The End of Part 1

Dear Reader of Sabrina's London Diaries:

I went to London in September 2008 just for a 3 week vacation. I was in my third semester of Graduate school, getting my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College and writing a Musical.  On the first night I arrived, the man I went to visit,  told me, " I'm sorry your not the one !"  I decided to not go home with my tail between my legs and decided to make the best of a bad situation and live there. Being what I laughingly, call, " dumped upon arrival", was the best thing that ever happened to me, I took my feelings of rejection and remorse and turned things around for the better. I realized this man was not my enemy, but my manivater ( a man that motivates) and catalyst for making me do my Human Revolution I ended up living in London  for two years and it was the best two years of my life ! 

 This blog is part travel journal, part personal memoir, sometimes private and sometimes not. I write about my initial culture shock of living in London, in articles, such as: My Initial Impressions of the Drinking Habits of the English and Some Language Differences I find Funny.

I also write about my Dating conundrums and mishaps in a self-deprecating blog (blog series within this blog),called, "Finding Mr. Darcy"---- a serious Austenite my dating blogs look at the romantic life of a single girl through a 18th century lens looking backwards, but then racing towards the future with exuberant optimism.   Having the opportunity to date and experience men from all over the globe, I write as a Romantic Anthropoligist, in blogs such as: Are Italian Men Really Great Lovers ? Israeli Soldier vs. English Gentleman, The Rugged vs. The Refined, and Dating in London: American Cowboy vs. English Bloke

Being absolutely nutty about History and it's great people, I also write about some of History's greatest people: Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, and of course, Harry Potter

This blog evolved from someone telling me that I should write about my experience in London. One year and a half later, I am still writing about my experience in London. I came back to Los Angeles in 2010, after a 2 years sojourn in London, and I found that it has changed so much. But, it's like in the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Benjamin Button, says in the movie as he narrates his story, after he comes home for being gone so long and traveling all over the world, " It's not that Tenessee has changed it's that I have changed."  And, so, it's not that Los Angeles has changed so much, or even America, it's that I had changed. My views and perceptions of life and the world have changed along with that and I will never be the same. Living in London has changed the way I see the world, and now the way I see myself in the world and that is why I must share what I learned !

Living in London for me, was an absolute dream come true. In my blog, I live to tell the tale and I am still telling it after all these years, and plan to publish my memoirs.


Sabrina Grace~

p.s. This is the End of the First Part of Sabrina's London Diaries. In the future, I will be publishing more blogs on Jane Austen, Book Reviews, Dating in Los Angeles, Culture in Los Angeles, Food,  and Green Living.  As well as, anecdotal commentary on society in English society and my new perspective on the world, living and thriving again in Los Angeles, California as a Language InstructorChef and Writer.

All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

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Monday, 14 June 2010

Part 3: Peace in the Middle East Tosos in London Monday Nights

Me, with four other Israeli Buddhist. Roshashana - The Jewish New Year- October 2008.

 Chanting for Peace inthe Middle East. This photo was taken with a group of Israelis, who also happen to be  Nicheren Buddhist,and chant a mantra ( Nam Myoho Renge Kyo), to awaken one's Buddha nature.Every Monday night, there is a tozo (an extended prayer session for more than 1 hour) for Peace in the Middle East.

Will there ever be Peace in the Middle East? Maybe not tomorrow, or the immediate future, but who knows maybe one day there will be peace in the Holy Land. The Zionist movement was created because the Jewish people have been a homeless people since the time of ancient Egypt. Israel was created in the forties right after World War 2 to create a homeland. But, Zionism started much earlier than this. If you like Literature, read Daniel Deronda (Oxford World's Classics)one of my favorite books written by George Eliot, she writes about Zionism in Victorian London. 

Perhaps,finally they will have a place to call their own without intervention from the United States, without dissension and agrimony from Palestininans. At last, Israel will at last have a harmonioius homeland.And,the Palestinians who have suffered tremendously against the very powerful force of the Israeli army, will also have PEACE. At this point, there can be no more blaming the other side. Each person, has to fight with their own fundamental darkness for there to be lasting peace, just like in your own family.

Either way, it is never a waste of time or waste of energy to do something positive for the world. To chant for PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.You may think it's naive,a waste of time to chant for Peace in the Middle East. You can think whatever you want. You may rather watch Seinfield with your husband and wife of Monday nights,than get off your tush and chant, but I am going to keep chanting for Peace in the Middle East and so will my other friends.

Me, with Yariv Perelmuter. Yariv is an Israeli Buddhist who has been practicing Buddhism for 5 years.
He's a Comedian/ Social worker. I met him when he was on Holiday in San Francisco and we stayed in touch for about 1 1/2 years, until  I came to London and he "dumped me upon arrival". Literally, just after arriving from Heathrow airport. Well, at least he didn't string me along like so many men do.  He was a bit rude like most Israeli men, but the positive side of being rude is that the people are usually very honest and sincere. My Buddhist training has taught me to see the bright side of everything and everyone.Needless to say, I forgave him, not right away of course, or I would be lying, but after chanting a lot and turning poison into medicine, and doing beaucoup human revolution,  I realize that he was my manivator and I should appreciate him for being a catalyst and getting me to London, otherwise, I just would have procrastinated. I  wish him all the best with in his life and career. I do hopes he finds the right deodarant and learns how to wash his clothes. ( LOL !) They had this moldy smell on them like he washed them in London rain and never brought them in to dry. Whoosh! and Pewie !! (Anyway, Nothing like a bit of light hearted humor. If you are reading this, I sure hope you can take a joke. God knows you like to dish 'em out. ) If your reading this I am chanting that you find the right anti-perspirant Yariv, or a woman who  can tolerate your Middle Eastern JUNGLE smell. Anyway, Yariv is a very funny and intelligent comedian, his humor is his weapon, making jokes about world issues,he sheds  light on some of the world's heaviest topics in the name of  Kosen Rufu (World Peace.) He didn't have to serve the compulsory 2 years in the Israeli army because he's Diabetic. I told him that was his good fortune. I have a feeling that he could eventually make it as a Comedian. And, I have a feeling I'll eventually find a man that knows a thing or two about hygeine. Everybody will get what they want in the end.

Like Shakespeare said, " All well that ends well".

It's really a wonderful world !

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Taplow Court -The Buddhist Castle in The UK

The Apple Orchard at Taplow Court

When I first came to London and didn't know a soul, I went straight away to see beautiful stunning Taplow Court, the home of SGI-UK, hoping to meet some new Buddhist friends. I know as a Buddhist that wherever I go in the world the Buddhist will give me a warm welcome and befriend me as if I was their own sister or daughter.To that I am certain.I am extremely very grateful of being a part of such a humanistic organization as SGI-Soka Gakka International, that encourages Peace, Culture and Education.

My second day in London, I believe it was a Saturday, I took a train from Paddington to Maidenhead ( about an hour). Viewing the English countryside from the vantage point of your window as the train speeds by a deluge of green is most relaxing and inspiring. Something about train rides makes you feel so refreshed and helps clear out all the cobwebs from one's mind. Once you arrive in Maidenhead train station,(in The Berkshires), the SGI-UK has a shuttle waiting to take you to Taplow Court. Very Classy. Taplow Court is what my friends in London call their,"castle".

Taplow Court in the Spring

Taplow Court, a mid 19th century mansion set high above the Thames near Maidenhead, is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society.In the 18th century, Taplow Court was the home of the Earls and Countesses of Orkney.

is part of a world-wide network in 192 countries that aims to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world through educational and cultural activities based on the philosophy of the 13th century Japanese sage,Nichiren Daishonin. Nicheren Daishonin taught that each person can transform not only their own lives, but also society and the environment,by revealing their most positive and creative potential through the practice of Buddhism.

Since many of the Buddhist Centers are not open during the day, during the week, I would often frequent Taplow Court in the middle of the week.
This particular day, the current ambassador of Thailand (Sorry, but I am rubbish with names),was to arrive and a big party held. Story has it one of his relatives had sojourned there some 100 years before.As luck would have it, I was in the right place at the right time,and was invited to the party and got to meet him along with other Thai dignitaries.

Please call Taplow Court a few hours in advance to reserve the shuttle. The Trains do not go directly to Taplow on Sunday and you have to exit Maidenhead.If you'd like to eat a luscious gourmet lunch in the hall, please call before 11 a.m. to reserve.

Taplow Court
SGI-UK National Centre
Taplow Court Grand Cultural Centre
Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0ER
Tel: 01628-773-163
Fax: 01628-773-055

The Buddha in Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self

The Buddha in Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries


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