Ricard on the hermit

“The Hermit” is a short blog entry by the celebrated Buddhist writer/photographer Matthieu Ricard, offering basic advice to all who recognize the need (occasional or otherwise) for solitude:

For someone who remains in the freshness of mindfulness of the present moment, time does not take on the heaviness of days spent in distraction, but the lightness of a life fully savored. If the hermit loses interest in certain ordinary concerns, it is not because his existence has become insipid but because he recognizes, among all possible human activities, which ones will truly contribute to the happiness of self and others.

URL: http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/index.php/archives/2012/07/

ITAR-TASS on Old believers

An up-to-date video (1:46) and text report titled “Modern hermits: Russian Old believers restore settlement in West Siberia” on the present status of Russia’s Old believers. From the report:

3,500 kilometers from Moscow, the Altay Region lies in the magnificent Altay Mountains, the land where Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan come together. It’s a destination off the beaten track, where some explore the wilderness, and others search for a remedy or a new life.Russian Altay became the place where old belief meets natural spirituality. In abandoned village of Anamas Old Believers, or Russian ‘starovery’, restore a settlement, founded over a hundred years ago.Alexandr and Daria Popovy became the first to stay in the village of Anamas. They have five children. The oldest is 15, while the youngest is just several months old. They start their life from scratch: there are no facilities in an abandoned settlement; the closest school is 10 kilometers away. Popovy started their vegetable garden and mastered bee keeping. For centuries the Altay Mountains were home to hermits and shamans. But now there are only few families left.

URL: http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/472067.html

Reclusive “Willowman”

The Huffington Post offers an article titled “On The Grounds Of Floriade, The Willowman Lives In His Art” about the reclusive artist of willow:

Tucked into a thick forest amidst the grounds of Floriade, an international horticulture festival held in Holland once every 10 years, is a village of enormous nests and caves made from willow and recycled materials. Inside lives the Willowman.

A bearded recluse inspired by the architecture of nature, the Willowman, whose real name is Will Beckers, works on the village by day, and sleeps inside one of his creations by night.

Beckers’ website describes him as a “Land Artist” who crafts designs with willow branches, and offers workshops on how he does it. “During the project artist Will Beckers lives and works on location in his own installation. He lives in the tree huts he has created as an architect of nature.” The website offers more photos and a brief video.

Huffington Post URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-katrandjian/the-willowman-tucked-amid_b_1626589.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009#slide=1144372
Willowman website: http://www.willowman.com