A Better World For Everyone

Tuesday 31 March, 2020

The world is increasingly in lockdown and life as we have hitherto known it is breaking down, yet my recurring thought amongst all the fear and uncertainty is that transformation often comes through suffering. The potential for change is always there, awaiting action or awareness, but as long as we’re comfortable nothing is likely to change. The pain wakes us up and motivates us to move. It screams at us that this cannot be the only way.

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It Was Never Just A Colour

Wednesday 25 March, 2020

Pink has always been my favourite colour. But for decades, paradoxically, it wasn’t. At some point in my childhood, I chose a different one. At the time, I didn’t realise any of the significance of what was happening. I just thought to myself, ‘Okay, people seem to have a favourite colour, so mine is red.’ It was only much later – 30 years later – that I fully reclaimed my true colour. This post is the story of how the innocence of a simple colour became the basis for a stifling injunction. It is also highlights how our treatment (good or bad) of each other can have staggering effects.

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A Childlike Curiosity

Thursday 20 February, 2020

Immediately after posting the previous piece, I took to my mat again. My body was just as stiff and painful as it has been for a few days now, but the same Qi Gong exercise turned out to be the easiest it has been so far. And when I opened my eyes, the clock read a very unexpected 25 minutes. Longer and easier than yesterday. Not only that, there had even been clear, slightly extended periods of peace, in which I felt almost pain-free. Those brief interludes were sufficient for it to seem as though I was actually lying down. That’s a big deal for me because lying down is the closest I ever get to being free of pain.

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If Space, Then Time (Pt. 3)

Friday 27 December, 2019

This post concludes the series of three pieces, all of which are inspired by the poem below. It was written by my dad, and when I read it for the first time two weeks ago, I cried intensely. I was deeply moved by his words, his love for his wife, and for the desperately sad fact that she cannot read what he has written about her. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2011. As a result, there is nowhere for his words to go. Others will read them and surely be moved by them, but the real recipient is not around. The only other person who fully knows what every syllable means, can no longer be touched by his love and his pain. He bears them alone. Except, of course, that love connects across all dimensions of space and time.

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If Space, Then Time (Pt. 2)

Friday 27 December, 2019

In Part 1, I looked at the pain of a child lost in the reality of human frailties. This part is about how survival strategies allow us to continue to function so that we may heal when we have more of what we need (time, support, distance, wisdom etc.). It is also a reminder that others are in pain, too. The conclusion is that love holds the key to our healing. Sadness and love may seem very different. But they are not. They are allies in our growth, each a reminder of the other. And although we may risk the former through the latter, we must somehow find the courage to continue to love completely. Life is empty without it.

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If Space, Then Time (Pt. 1)

Friday 27 December, 2019

The previous entry was all about the simplest of gestures influencing the whole world (and beyond). In any given moment our love, generosity and compassion can touch everything. This post (and the next two in the series) take the same idea and apply it to healing our past. If a smile can inhabit the infinity of space, then healing can inhabit the infinity of time.

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We Change The World

Saturday 21 December, 2019

When I smile my world changes. When I smile at another person, their world changes too. Even if they don’t smile back, there is a difference in the relationship between us. What’s more, the change is permanent. I’m not saying either of us remain uplifted after the smile has gone, but the imprint remains. It becomes a part of us. Integrated into the whole.

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Our Connection With Nature

Tuesday 8 October, 2019

We were only there for two days, but it took less than two seconds for nature to find its inevitable way to the core of my being. The experience moved me in a substantial, unshakeable way, filling my body and mind with a reassuring sense of oneness and homecoming. There was neither room nor need for anything else. I hadn’t visited the Lake District for more than 30 years, but that immovable, eternal place once again exerted its influence in the deepest way possible.

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The Nine Tiles

Friday 1 March, 2019

The core contents of this blog, distilled from the work I have done over the last 20 years, make up nine areas. Those areas, or Tiles as they are depicted, guide you through what you will encounter – or what you need to be aware of – as you write your daily journal of observations.

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Let Go. Be Empty.

Wednesday 9 January, 2019

This collection of quotes from various posts (mostly from last year) are meant to serve as reminders in my daily practice of letting go, remaining in the emptiness, and experiencing all of life in the purity of its momentary essence, without expectation, judgement or attachment. There are also quotes from the days in November when I was too tempted by my mind. They have been included here as a reminder to remain vigilant and not get cocky.

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It All Feels So Real

Saturday 24 November, 2018

I was caught out again recently; dragged once more, over the course of two discussions, into the world of emotions. They are so unbelievably real at the time. There seems no room for anything else apart from the strength of feeling and the conviction of thoughts which support and perpetuate. When the fog lifts and the chance comes to reflect, it is clear just how tricky it can be to remain centred in the Self when the pull of worldly existence is so convincingly real.

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Tending Your Garden

Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Over the years it became overgrown.
But it was cared for once,
At the beginning.
By others who loved and nurtured it.

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It’s A Game Changer

Wednesday 22 August, 2018

There was a definite shift during the retreat. I can’t say it happened in an instant, but it happened early on, and deepened each day. It grew out of the experience of The Invitation. I saw clearly how being able to drop the identity and rest so effortlessly in the is-ness, meant two things. Firstly, I no longer had to be the person I had worked so hard to be (despite my attachment to it). This alone was a liberating insight, and as with every other breakthrough from the retreat, the shift came from experiencing it. It anchors the realsiation in a way not possible through mere cognition. (See also ‘We Are The Sum Total Of Our Experience’.)

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The Silence Was Beautiful

Tuesday 21 August, 2018

Before leaving for the retreat, I reasoned that the silence might take a day or two to get used to. How wrong I was. Even in my initial distraction on that first afternoon, I felt as though I had come home. Nobody talking, no eye contact, no communication of any kind. Just silence and an inward focus. I can only imagine the number and depth of insights experienced by people during those days. All made possible by the silence. It was beautiful, and at times it took my breath away.

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