A Master’s Rules

Thursday 31 October, 2019

The following list comprises Thich Nhat Hanh’s 15 Practical Ways To Find Zen at Work. I came across it a few weeks ago. Each point helps to create a new environment for oneself. An alternative way of being. A calmer, more appreciative, more connected existence. In the time since I first read it, I saw another quote from him which underpins what this list is all about: ‘It’s simple: to really relate to the world, you have to first go back and relate to yourself.

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Seeing The Gift

Friday 15 February, 2019

It happened because I got drawn into the concept of personhood; identifying with the veneer rather than with the stuff underneath. It’s okay that it happened because I saw it more clearly, and seeing is half the battle. And it’s a sign that I am doing well because my script only fights back when there is something to fight against.

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Forgetting & Remembering

Tuesday 15 January, 2019

The previous post was all about gathering the most useful prompts to remind me of what I want to be doing every day this year: Letting go and being empty. This post is primarily meant to help, too, because as I have written before, we forget. We are distracted so easily by life and the world, that our focus is often restricted to mere seconds. The distractions are so frequent and persuasive that it might be hours before we eventually remember to return to even the simplest of practices – breathing, for example. When those stretches of time continue for more than a few days, the new habit is forgotten; swallowed up by the swirling familiarity of immediate life.

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Focus It All Away

Thursday 21 June, 2018

Life exerts such a guiding influence that, regardless of where we think we want to go, if we relax and engage with it in an open and trusting manner, it will show us the way. It repeatedly leads us back to what we need to see until the integration is complete. This series, which began with an intention to establish a new habit, has led me back to a powerful truth; a subject so familiar that I have old journal entries from 17 and 18 years ago which say much the same thing: Focus is the key to a quiet mind and the dissolution of the self.

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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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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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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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TS 17 – Listen To Yourself

Friday 4 November, 2016

The fact that this was one of the best seminars so far was due partly to the variety of subjects we covered: the importance of listening (to the self and others), of writing, and of focusing on our breathing, as well as the role which suffering plays in our happiness. The main reason, however, was the clear demonstration by one participant of the entire point of the seminar. Namely, that we easily dismiss things if they do not fit into our narrow band of relevance, and that when we listen more closely we make life easier for ourselves. (That demonstration appears at 26:34 in the video below.)

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Fresh Air & Focus

Thursday 3 March, 2016

I lay on the floor, my earphones leaking the new breathing exercises into my head. It’s week one of the programme and the emphasis is on relaxing and using the power of the mind to visualise. Having found its place between physical exercise and meditation, this is the easiest part of my routine: lie down, close your eyes, relax, breathe, and ease your mind into the realm of power and positivity.

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Are You Still Breathing?

Friday 13 June, 2014

There were two occasions during the presentation, when the word breathe appeared on the screen. I had put it there for my own benefit, as a reminder for me to take a moment, breathe, and calm down. I tend to get excited about my work and any reminder to calm myself is always welcome. After the presentation, Karaj offered me his feedback. He suggested I use more of the breathe slides, adding that they should be the focus of my presentation and the focus of my life.

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It All Comes Down To This

Monday 14 October, 2013

When we forget the simplicity of it all, or we’re convinced there must be another way; when we are stuck, or frustrated by the lack of novelty, this is the post to read. It’s a reminder of the value of repetition and practise. Every day, every minute, every breath. In the end, it all comes down to this:

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Riding & Surviving The Waves

Wednesday 25 September, 2013

I’m not a surfer, but I write this from Santa Cruz, California where surfing is everywhere. During my visit here to see a close friend, I read a book he gave me, written by a local surfing legend, Frosty Hesson. The book, Making Mavericks, contains a number of important lessons which the author identified on his way through life, and which he has passed on to many aspiring surfers over the years in order to help them become not just better surfers, but also better human beings. This post touches on what that story has taught me.

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The final of the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow was won, predictably, by the best sprinter the world has ever seen. But the man in the next lane was a 19-year-old, running in his first major final. During the introductions Adam Gemili was clearly exhilarated to be involved; his achievement guaranteed and his senses opened wide to absorb as much of the experience as he could. He was having the time of his life and running faster than he had ever run.

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Breathe

Friday 21 July, 2000

Breathing in I calm my body
Breathing out I smile
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment

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