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. It grew out of the experience of The Invitation, deepening each day. 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. As with every other breakthrough from the retreat, the shift came from experiencing it. This anchors the insight 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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Effortless & Empty

Monday 20 August, 2018

After the challenge from the previous day, day four felt more normal as I became increasingly familiar with the state of pure awareness (or is-ness). I was never there for extended periods, and I felt no exultation, but in the calmness there was peace. And some relief. The excitement of the previous days had subsided. What remained was the space to be able to rest in a new way of being and to recognise the mind at work in subtler ways.

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The Mandala Of Personhood

Friday 17 August, 2018

The first thought when I woke up on day two, was a realisation that I am attached to my identity. Just as with the previous day’s insight – everything is a distraction – this is not a new idea. As the sunrise shone through the open window, I lay in contemplation. It didn’t feel like a big deal. My mind started to wander away from the insight. There hadn’t been the revelatory feel I’d had the day before, so I began to question whether I am indeed attached to who I am.

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Deep & Profound Gratitude

Wednesday 15 August, 2018

It was a present from her. Five days at a silent retreat with Mooji. I cannot begin to describe how beautiful the whole experience was; how enriching and life-changing. All I can do for now is to record in the next few posts what my experience of those days was. This piece is the briefest of summaries, and subsequent posts will go into more detail about specific insights and aspects. Some background might be useful, so if you wish you can read the post, ‘The Conclusion Is Emptiness’, as well as the more recent one, ‘When Mooji Came To Town’.

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Be Kind To Yourself

Saturday 11 August, 2018

I wanted to write a piece on self-compassion, because it’s easy to overlook ourselves as we move through the world. Worse still, many of us are too hard on ourselves, too critical, too demanding. We are more inclined to offer help and support to others than to ourselves, but we must understand that there is much we can do to improve our own lives. It takes practice, and it begins with being kind to yourself. The inspiration for this piece comes from someone who leads by example with her own kindness.

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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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Beyond The Noise

Sunday 9 April, 2017

Beyond the enticing noise of experience and identity, there is a silent place of observation. A place without judgement or questioning. We’re unaware of it because we are so caught up in the surface-level events of life. It makes sense for us to be that way, with our focus so intensely on the world and the self, because it’s a good survival strategy.

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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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It Takes A Village

Wednesday 12 October, 2016

It takes a village to raise a child.’ That’s how the father of the bride began his speech. I was in California again – the place where I had first met the happy couple, curiously, on the very same day they had met each other. Throughout his speech, which marked the various milestones of his daughter’s ambitious and adventurous life, he took the time to thank all the ‘villagers’ who had played their part in looking out for her along the way. Some were present at the celebration, some were not, whilst others were simply names of people he had never met, but who carry his gratitude for what they did for his family.

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Lighten Up With A ‘Deathpresso’

Wednesday 27 July, 2016

She pointed to a place across the main road. I registered an immediate aversion, but was carried forward by a strategy I tend to employ with her: Go wherever she goes. (Not in a subservient way, but because she so often appears fearless, and it really is a joy to behold.) We were looking for somewhere to have an iced coffee on a hot day in Hamburg, and she was intent on crossing the road. My reluctance stemmed from the name of the establishment: Deathpresso. And just in case that were not enough, peering down onto the pavement tables was the logo: a smiling, mischievous-looking skull, hollowed out and filled with coffee.

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