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 there is conditioning; 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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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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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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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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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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Infinity In A Box

Saturday 10 June, 2017

One common and understandable conclusion we draw in this work is that ‘If I work hard enough I will rid myself of the issues I have. One day, I will no longer feel anxious or angry, and I will stop wishing the world were different.’ I used to look forward to a time when all my problems would be solved. I used think I would wake up one day and be different because the painful parts would be gone and the struggle would be over. And I used to think that working on myself was the way to do that. It is, but it’s only half the story because self-development is a stepping stone to a greater understanding that we already possess what we desire.

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Yes, It Is That Simple

Sunday 30 April, 2017

We can be forgiven for thinking life is complicated. We can even make allowances for those who expect complicated solutions to life’s problems. But why do we question something just because it’s simple? Perhaps the mind feels insulted, preferring solutions akin to its own complexity. Maybe we struggle to accept the simplicity because it trivialises our predicament. Whatever the reason, the same question can be seen on every face at some point in their personal development: ‘Surely it can’t be that simple?

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Life Is Unimaginably Large

Tuesday 31 January, 2017

Everyone at some point in their life – whether out of desperation or curiosity – has wondered about the meaning or purpose of life. It’s the biggest question there is; and the reason the answer is so elusive is because life itself is so unimaginably large. We struggle to wrap our heads around the size and scope of it and yet, paradoxically, we are life. Fortunately, as I discovered years ago, the solution lies within the paradox. It helps to see life as a fractal, in which the whole is contained in every part: we are a fraction of life, and yet every feature of life is within each of us.

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Eleven Days In La La Land

Thursday 12 January, 2017

For a number of reasons I was drawn to watch the same film again and again. Five times in eleven days, in fact. La La Land is a hugely uplifting film imbued with the innocence of love, the naivety of dreams, and the single-minded determination which passion for anything brings. I found myself crying and laughing simultaneously, tapping my feet from the very start, and captivated throughout. I lost myself in the unspoken force of facial expressions, was touched deeply by the songs and the sentiment, and smiled with my whole body at the uncomplicated beauty of love and life. But this post is not about the film; it’s about what happens when you watch something closely and repeatedly. One’s own life, for example.

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Work On Yourself

Monday 2 January, 2017

There are exceptions to every rule, but for most of the issues we face in life the answer is always the same: work on yourself. Whether you are angry with someone, or you think others should behave differently; whether the world is not how you’d like it to be, or life seems to be dealing you a difficult hand, the solution lies with you. You improve your situation by working on yourself, and there is much you can do because the amount of power and control you have over who you are and what happens to you is huge.

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When You Know It’s Possible

Tuesday 20 December, 2016

As difficult as things may seem sometimes, when you know something is possible, it is much easier to continue to strive for it. Seeing someone else do it and knowing it is not completely out of reach, alters your outlook. It lifts your spirits and helps you to keep going. Even more significantly, when you see what others can do, and you realise that there are things beyond what you thought possible, it can change everything. This post is a form of encouragement to keep going with your development, and offers an indication of the heights which can be scaled with something as simple as daily practice.

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Wednesday 23 November, 2016

Following on from the previous post about the effect each generation has on the next, this post (#1000) reinforces the point that when we bring awareness and an intention to improve our family script (TA), then healing is within the reach of every generation. What’s most attractive about it is that it’s the easiest and most effective way for the species to progress because it’s like starting a project again but with greater knowledge and experience of how things work.

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