Rubbish At Meditation?

Friday 12 May, 2017

Whenever I talk to people about meditation, especially people who are new to it, I tell them I’m rubbish at it. It’s a little exaggerated perhaps, but nevertheless a good reflection of how I often feel. I’ve been doing it at least once a day for over three years, but can’t shake the feeling that I’m not getting very far with it. This blog post looks at the familiar themes behind that feeling – expectation, judgment, comparison, the nature of progress, and the process itself – and concludes that I’m not rubbish at all. It’s all part of the meditation.

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TS 18 – Celebrate Your Uniqueness

Monday 14 November, 2016

Although I didn’t know it at the time, this turned out to be the last of these seminars. I thought I might do a few more, but the way this one ended was the perfect way to round off a series of talks, blogs, and videos which cover so much of what personal development work is all about. The topic itself is also a suitable way to finish: see yourself clearly, acknowledge your beauty and power, and celebrate your uniqueness; whilst all the time knowing that, paradoxically, you are also one with everyone and everything else in existence.

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Opinions, Judgements & Comparisons

Wednesday 20 July, 2016

Growing up, I was always impressed with the way my big brother seemed to have an opinion on everything. A strong one too. Even now, when I encounter someone with a firm opinion, backed up with clear argument, it’s impressive. As a teenager I looked up to my brother and how, without apology, he made it clear where he stood on any subject. I sought to emulate him, deciding one day that I should begin forming opinions of my own. But it was hard work and I just didn’t seem bothered enough by most things to care.

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Make Yourself (Happy)

Tuesday 3 July, 2012

There is nothing unexpected about feeling negative when reflecting on who we are. It’s normal. It’s understandable. None of us are perfect, yet we live in a world which so easily offers the ideal of perfection; even going as far as to suggest we should strive for it because, ‘Look, others have it.’

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Measurable Results

Monday 11 April, 2011

Results should be measurable. This is always useful but not always easy. How do you quantify certain things? Wealth, possessions and number of friends are easily-measured units of success. But what about other things like contentment, satisfaction or happiness? Or personal development?

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Why Am I So Hard On Myself?

Saturday 23 August, 2003

Nine days ago, I met up with Eric in London and we flew together to Spain to work on his house. We worked on various building projects: tiling one of the terraces; building a barbecue; and erecting a structure to support part of the ground floor ceiling. It was great to spend time with Eric. What follows are the insights from my time with him and his family. (Karaj told me to contemplate a return to discipline while I am away.)

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Who I Am & Who I’m Not

Friday 3 January, 2003

I woke up feeling tired and cold, with a headache and a feeling of not wanting to be here. This always happens when I come back from friends. I had spent New Year with close friends, and made this entry in my journal:

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Feel The Feelings

Wednesday 11 December, 2002

My mind set to work early this morning, reinforcing yesterday’s unfavourable comparisons with Danny and moving on to theories about why I am not learning, telling myself that if I were to leave then I would make more of an effort to sort myself out. How easily the mind finds justifications for its constructs. This was all made worse when I caught sight of a comment by Harriet in her appraisal that I am too negative and that I haven’t changed at all.

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What Do I Want?

Tuesday 10 December, 2002

Spent yesterday asking myself in each moment ‘What do I want?‘ and satisfying anything that came up. It helped me to realise that I am important, I do count for something, I do have wants and when I acknowledge them I empower myself. I want more clarity – with myself and in my communication with others – and I need to allow myself to be who I am.

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A 50-Hour Weekend

Sunday 11 August, 2002

Friday

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Why Don’t People Listen?

Tuesday 30 July, 2002

Another humid and tired day. I felt some emotions about not having achieved any of my own work over the last couple of days, but I did not react to them. I knew what was going on and that the evening would bring an opportunity to achieve something. In short, I relaxed. And besides, the work with Karaj has been necessary and we have made good progress.

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Predict, Plan, Prepare

Friday 22 March, 2002

07.25 E&M 40 mins. The subdued feeling is still there. I feel in limbo. It’s as if I want to make the most of the opportunity to feel down (old life) yet I don’t really have anything to be down about. My mind reminds me that I have none of the trappings of a secure and stable life which all my friends have (comparisons) but, at the same time, I know they are not what I am looking for. Even Francis’s latest letter which I received yesterday can be used as evidence that I am not doing as well as my friends. When I read it I had Karaj’s words in my head suggesting that I have a long way to go before I am as competent or as capable as Francis, so again, I find myself comparing. For fuck’s sake, accept who I am. I’m good.

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The Core Group

Sunday 6 January, 2002

07.10 E&M 45 mins. Having been left untouched by some of the recent events and stories which have moved others in the group, I told myself to be more open at the church this morning. It worked and I was more receptive and less cynical or negative than usual. I also took notes which helped me to focus and to remember the content of what turned out to be a good sermon.

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Different Friends

Tuesday 1 January, 2002

I spent New Year with friends on the coast. Today on the train home I had the feeling I’d perhaps been a little too quiet and withdrawn from the group, but as my journey continued I felt better and better about myself. My friends had mocked me and called me strange. In the past I have made comparisons with my friends and wondered why I am not like them and have felt down that I cannot be like them. Now things are changing. Whilst I still have a lot of growing up to do, I know that I am doing it and I am achieving more than I could have imagined two years ago.

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