Stop Searching, Look Inside

Wednesday 17 October, 2018

Three years ago I finished wringing everything I could from my training journals. Having taken time to edit them thoroughly for my blog, I then edited the most suitable ones again and again (and again) for the book. I spent almost five years examining my own detailed reflections from an intense period of learning. It left me wondering where to go next with my development. When I eventually found what I was searching for (in Self Enquiry and the Silent Retreat), I saw that I’d had everything all along. All I needed to do was continue what I had been doing, and see it through to its ultimate conclusion.

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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, it’s there; 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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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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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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Back Again, But Different

Monday 6 March, 2017

There’s a glorious moment of not-knowing first thing in the morning. Just on the edge of wakefulness, as consciousness beckons, life takes a deep, silent breath and waits. In that moment, before reality comes rushing back in, potential is at its peak. Everything is possible because nothing yet exists. Nothing of our past is present, and the future can’t exist because it has no present to work with. There is only emptiness and silence, both waiting to be filled with whatever comes their way.

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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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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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Discovering The True Self

Wednesday 7 September, 2016

Fundamentally, personal development is simple: see clearly who you are; understand that (most of) your behaviour is conditioned; let go of what doesn’t serve you; and re-condition the self according to your own ideas about who you want to be. That all happens at the surface level and relates to the worldly concept of the personality; the individual; separate from others. But there is also a depth to the process which goes beyond behaviour and identity, connects us all with each other, and leads ultimately to the most fundamental aspect of existence: the true self. First, the worldly stuff…

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And So It Continues…

Monday 8 August, 2016

How you choose to see life makes a difference to your perception of yourself, the world, and your place in it. Your outlook and attitude define the qualities you attribute to the whole of existence. They affect how you think and feel, and, therefore, every experience you have. For example, if you choose to believe in coincidences, life takes on a more random quality as different events simply collide without reason or purpose. In those instances the assumption is that if there is any control over what happens, it is beyond us; aspects of our fate are decided elsewhere.

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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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TS 9 – Awareness Is The Key

Thursday 9 June, 2016

The message of this seminar – over and over again – was that all you have to do for the transformation to begin, is to see your behaviour clearly. See who you are, and you will notice a momentum of change which has its roots in the observation itself. It is a magical, powerful part of the whole process; one which makes everything so much simpler. It allows us to relax more easily and to trust more readily that we will get where we want to go. And it leaves us with a definite sense that so much can be achieved just by observing our behaviour.

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Drop Everything For A Moment

Thursday 24 March, 2016

16 years ago, I wrote a short entry called Infinite Futures, in which I talked about the advantages of remaining within that quiet point in existence where all futures are possible, rather than allow my thoughts to limit me to one particular trajectory. My point had been to remind myself how peaceful life is when I am not preoccupied with what the future may or may not hold.

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Desperate To Belong

Tuesday 19 August, 2014

We talked into the early hours of the morning, and he explained to me how I am torn between my need to belong and my desire to go my own way. For years I have been frustrated by the world and my place in it, feeling that if only the world were more like me, then I wouldn’t have to struggle in isolation. In my moments of clarity I reprimand myself, saying it’s my problem, not the world’s, and that if I really had the courage of my own convictions I would stride on down my chosen path, without the need for the world to come with me and keep me company.

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