A Break In The Routine

Wednesday 16 May, 2018

Twelve days into creating the new early morning habit, a familiar obstacle came into view: a break in the routine. It can happen for a number of reasons (in my case it was a two-day trip to see friends) but when it comes it can be surprisingly disorienting. It’s almost unavoidable to begin with, so don’t be hard on yourself when it happens, take a deep breath, and get back into your routine as soon as you can. The longer the break, the more difficult it becomes to find your way back.

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Use Whatever You Learn

Wednesday 9 May, 2018

Using the same example as the previous post – creating a new habit of early morning exercise, meditation and writing – this post is a reminder of the benefit of using everything you learn to make it easier for yourself. It sounds obvious, but it isn’t always what we do. Look at your own life and examine how many times you had to make the same mistake before you learnt the lesson. At the time, we swear we won’t forget, and we assure ourselves (and others) that it won’t happen again, but then it does.

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Creating A New Habit

Tuesday 1 May, 2018

How easy is it to create a new habit? That depends on the habit. Bad ones are a breeze and can develop without us noticing. Good ones, on the other hand, always seem to involve some discipline, effort or sacrifice – those not-so-magic words which can immediately put people off. This and subsequent posts will follow my own attempts to create a new habit, offering insights into the process so that you can see for yourself what happens, what is necessary, and what to look out for.

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A Balance Of Mind & Body

Saturday 28 April, 2018

This entry is a summary of the kind of effect which Marcus and I will be offering during our retreat in June. It comes from a friend of mine who, having gone straight to the gym from our coffee conversation, noticed how well he felt after his workout because he’d given his mind something deep and meaningful to contemplate, and his body the kind of workout our bodies are born to do, but so rarely get the chance to enjoy.

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Outside & Inside

Friday 20 April, 2018

As explored in the previous two posts*, we need regular reminders in order to remain on track with the life we prefer to lead and the person we wish to be. Those reminders can be simple instructions; or they can take the form of retreats, where we immerse ourselves in our lifestyle of choice and gain some momentum to take back with us into our regular lives.

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Retreats & Reminders

Thursday 19 April, 2018

Assuming there is a desire to learn in the way addressed in the previous post, what can we do? How might we create the learning pressure and supportive prompting which proved so effective for us in our early years? The answer can be found in retreats and reminders, two things which are designed to provide us with the environment to be able to practise our chosen way of being, and the cues to return there when we forget.

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Childish Learning

Wednesday 18 April, 2018

Imagine if someone followed you around all day, observing what goes on around you and asking questions. Questions about what’s happening with you and the interplay between external events and your perception of those events. Imagine if that person had the singular focus to make sure you gained as much from the day as possible, halting the process where necessary to ask for your appraisal and your feedback and then giving you theirs:

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The Conclusion Is Emptiness

Monday 30 October, 2017

The content of this blog stretches back over almost 18 years. It began as a search of the truth of human behaviour, prompted by a curiosity about why people behave the way they do. The short answer, I discovered, is conditioning. Whichever direction we look it’s there; an intense and intrusive force with a seemingly unstoppable momentum behind it. There are the years of societal conditioning for example; generations of familial conditioning; and centuries of cultural conditioning.

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Beyond Expectations

Friday 27 October, 2017

Nothing you ever achieved came as a result of expectations, but you will certainly have experienced disappointment because they were not met. Equally, some of your most memorable times were rooted in a lack of expectations – those evenings you went out even though you didn’t want to; or planned to go home early but stayed out all night because events swept you up and whispered not to think too much but relax and be where you are.

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Developing Attachment

Wednesday 11 October, 2017

My son is five months old and every day I observe his dedicated efforts to persuade his body to honour his desires. Watching him come to terms with the most basic of operations highlights just how much time is required to master the subtleties of bodily movement. From the day we are born, we are captivated by our physical body, then later our mind and our emotions.

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Get Out Of The Way

Friday 29 September, 2017

Karaj once told me a story of a man who was so convinced that a particular holy man could help him, that he searched far and wide for him. He walked everywhere, from village to village, patiently seeking, knowing inside that whatever the holy man said to him will change his life. Eventually, one dusty afternoon the holy many came into view. He was on a horse, surrounded by mounted guards. Surprisingly perhaps, he was in a bad mood.

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Observation As The Gateway

Friday 22 September, 2017

If it’s correct that we are so wrapped up in the worldly self and the experience of life, then how do we extricate ourselves from their allure and rest in the true self. One very good way is to observe. While composing this piece, I looked for the earliest example of observation in my writing and found the entry, Silent, Attentive & Aware, which came a week after I had begun my journal. It is a short piece but an excellent description of my early forays into observation and the distinct benefits I gained from it.

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Friendship & The True Self

Saturday 16 September, 2017

The wedding I wrote about in the previous post was more than a wedding for me. I came away from it contemplating the nature of the connections with my friends. I was struck by their solid nature and uplifting effect, regardless of how transient or tenuous the friendships may be. Eventually my thoughts led me to another connection: the one between the worldly self and the true self. This post is about how our long-standing friendships can help us connect more firmly with who we truly are.

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So Much Love In The World

Thursday 7 September, 2017

I attended a friend’s wedding last weekend. She’s an old friend, so there were others there too, all of whom I have known for nearly 30 years. Some of my closest friends were present and I was naturally delighted to see them, but I was also struck by how appreciative I was of people I had not seen for a decade or more. There is an obvious maturity about our connections, and to spend such quality time in the company of people who have grown together and aged well, but who in many ways have not changed at all, somehow served as recognition of my own self.

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