Tell Yourself A Story

Monday 31 July, 2017

A friend claimed recently that if we were to take a group of people and put them in the forest with no cultural information whatsoever, within 50 years they’ll be worshiping something. Whether a god or a tree spirit, they would inevitably create a vessel for their beliefs. Her reasoning was that we love to tell stories. And she’s right. Storytelling lies at the heart of so much of our life. We listen avidly to other people’s stories, and we’re keen to tell our own. We unconsciously buy into the stories the advertising world pitches to us, and we daydream about stories we wish were true. We even go to war over differences in our stories.

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Begin Again

Friday 28 July, 2017

This entry is an example of what I alluded to in the previous post about using the words of others to remind me of what I easily forget. Listening to a Q&A with Sharon Salzberg, who has been teaching meditation for decades, all it took was two words – begin again – to jog my memory in a number of ways. The first related to her topic: meditation. She explained that when you notice that your thoughts have taken away your attention, start over. It doesn’t matter how many times you have to do it, just begin again. And again, and again. Do that and you’re meditating.

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Distractions Of The Familiar

Wednesday 19 July, 2017

My training was tough at times. It was confrontational and challenging, and I left exhausted but forever different. For years afterwards I questioned the intensity of Karaj’s exacting approach, but in 2014 he and I met again and began a series of conversations about the whole adventure. Time and again we touched on the question of my progress compared to that of the others in the group, but we had so much to talk about that the question repeatedly got lost. Earlier this year he raised it again.

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Astonishingly Simple

Tuesday 11 July, 2017

Standing on my head, looking across the room at the empty wall, I wondered whether I might put a poster there, upside down, to remind me of a few simple things I forget to do on a daily basis. Simple but powerful practices which, when done regularly and in a focused way, can improve my life. A couple of days later I thought about it again and three things came to mind: smile, breathe, and let go. This post is about the astonishingly simple things which can transform our experience of ourselves and of life itself, and how important it is to practise them whenever we can because, when we need them most, they can be slippery and elusive.

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