It is evening, London has been cold and sunny. Remission continues and it’s a happy time. I was listening to Neil Young ‘Like a Hurricane’ as I started this, now replaced on the ‘phones by the spooky minor key of JS Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. I’m on Replay – all my 2022 tunes. At lunchtime Yashobodhi and I arrived in ten minutes among the weird swollen trunks of the early Victorian Plane trees that dominate Kennington Park, which I believe is the oldest of that kind. There is a rose garden and a great hipster cafe. They get their pizza oven going each midday, seven days a week. With latte and peppermint teas, we chew on Margheritas, me with extra cheese and olives, totally unnecessary but this week – all at once I can eat! Yashobodhi and I have been enjoying some extended talks often about nothing in particular, but also far more from the heart than usual. Now we are into the summer her run of paid London museum work – slow looking at artwork, videos and various reflective dharma stuff – has eased off over the summer, which is both a worry and a holiday. To support me she’s paused the weekly dharma class at WLBC too. Six years of Saturdays, giving out really thought-through dharma, everything under the sun.

We try not to worry about what will happen to us both later. Apart from what happens to come up, subjects have included funerary urns, cremation, what is being passed on to whom and what received. My four large ash urns will go to Padmaloka in the East, Yashobodhi in the South, Tipi Valley in the West, Vajraloka in the North, and there will be some spoon-sized urnlets. Adhisthana will get a stone but they have promised me that it won’t go around the Mound, where I don’t belong. I was never that kind of disciple. I belong in the woods. Witness, ye gods.

I get emotional about unexpected things. We live now in South London where as a small child I went briefly to school when we needed to stay with my granny around the corner from the Brockley Jack. Someone recently mentioned the name of a girl’s school there, no longer existent but I hadn’t heard the name since those days. It flashed in my mind like a bomb from the Blitz, and I cried. Mary Datchelor’s. Either my mother went there or my grandad was the headmaster (I only know he was one somewhere). Someone in my family will know. How deep these roots, these seeds, grow in me.

After pizza I felt loads better than I had (the walk here had been hard, I need to get on my feet more) and for a while we sat in the fragrant rose garden and watched gay couples meet up. It is a known rendezvous. One of the signs seems to be, you smell a flower after which there is a brief exchange, and they go off. So very sweet. You have to run the gauntlet of bad boys smoking ganja on the bench outside, but on a sunlit afternoon the park is great, doggy and kiddy and fast-laned by parkrun people with iPhones strapped to shiny biceps.

At night I don’t sleep much but I have a good routine, in bed by 12:30 and sleep to four if I’m lucky. Then I do a kind of combination of practice and dreaming until about six. I descend steps under the earth where there is an enclosure and a looming rectangular Buddha tomb like a rock-cut dargah. I connect there to the dry earth and the sombre atmosphere, then the other elements begin to manifest in trickling sounds, and my inner body responds, fire, wind, space, awareness. Black light, red light, white light. It will happen. I already know the black light. Last night I had an interesting talk with Sangharakshita, though I can’t remember any of it now, I kind of phase in with the visionary stuff and get bits of dream and sleep. Sometimes after that period I can sleep a bit. I get up at seven, wash and with coffee, write till 8:30. YB and I meditate for ¾ hour or so and then I do a bit of yoga while my porridge cooks. And the day begins.