I was only peripherally involved with the OBC (or Zen
Mission Society as it then was), but I was interested to find this forum
because I have from time to time vaguely tried to keep up with what they were
I attended a weekend retreat at Throssel Hole in the autumn
of 1976. It was very lively, as I remember, and one guy was really going
through the fire. Glad to see he survived apparently in one piece.
I eventually decided that living in a place like that wasn’t
for me and I went somewhere else instead. But I did call in for a Sunday
lecture about a year later on my way back from a trip to Scotland, the
place was being minded by a young woman with a child. Was that Kyosei? I often
wonder what happened to her.
Anyway, my reason for posting is that there has been some
discussion of the fact that Rev Kennet suffered from type II diabetes, and in
my own old age I have to struggle with this thing. Actually this “type II
diabetes” is a catch-all phrase for any condition that prevents your body from
eliminating glucose properly, it may be a shortage of insulin secretions, or it
may be your body’s resistance to insulin itself. In some cases actual damage to
the pancreas might be involved.
Anyone diagnosed with this syndrome needs to get their body
weight down to normal as quick as they can. You need to restrict your diet, not
only what you eat, but how much you eat. And it turns out that most of us eat
far too much anyway (Lester Piggott won horse races on one piece of toast and a
poached egg). You also need to take a lot of exercise. You need to move around,
climb stairs, climb mountains, ride bikes.
If you do these things, that may be enough, but sometimes medicine
may be needed as well, pills and / or insulin.
If this thing is not controlled properly, your blood glucose
shoots up producing a variety of subtle and not so subtle effects. I have never
heard of anyone having visions or hallucinations because of it, but what it
undoubtedly does do is make you dopey and confused and very, very, very