A 35-Year Round Trip

Sunday 31 March, 2019

During the recording of Episode 4 of the Tile 9 video, A Proper Introduction, I talked about how the seeds of where I now stand were sown in my mid-teens. All those years ago I talked to people about how we are products of our environment and the parents and teachers who influenced our lives. It followed that if we could take control of the development process, we could be whoever we want to be. People’s sole response was that, ‘You can’t change who you are.’

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Beyond Caring

Thursday 7 March, 2019

I recorded the second episode of the Tile9 podcast this week. In each episode I read from my book, stopping to relate the entries to all 9 Tiles of The Instruction Manual. During the recording, there were a number of lines which reminded me of something Karaj had said to me during a phone call two days earlier.

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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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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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Mastering The Climb

Thursday 3 January, 2019

The aim of this post is to record what I need to be doing to ensure that the life-changing events of last year do indeed change my life, rather than slip gradually out of sight and become more like obscured signposts. The title comes from a thought I had whilst watching a talk (linked below) by the free solo climber Alex Honnold, who spoke of his meticulous preparation for an ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

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One Year, Three Retreats

Wednesday 26 December, 2018

When I began to write this review of 2018, I couldn’t see much beyond the two main experiences of the year. The Silent Retreat, and what can perhaps be referred to as the Angry Retreat. Each provided a breakthrough which has the potential to transform my life. They help to emphasise this year as both the culmination of 19 years of work, and the beginning of the rest of my life; a turning point in my development, taking me further away from my conditioning and towards the emptiness which has so informed my writing since the end of last year.

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The Arena Of Transformation

Monday 17 December, 2018

The previous five posts show how it is possible to transform a difficult experience into a burgeoning source of learning and development. They also provide insight into the idea of punctuated equilibrium: how it can feel as though one is not moving (or even going backwards), before suddenly being thrust forwards onto a new level. This post is the last in this series, and takes a general look at what happened, placing it in the context of a number of different areas:

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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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Connecting In The Stillness

Monday 8 October, 2018

I attended another event from Mind Work Productions. (See also, ‘Courage In The Darkness’.) A whole afternoon of workshops and connection. I felt at home, but I also felt reluctance; not only at the invitation to leave my comfort zone, but also the confrontation of having no real choice. It was an almost breathless journey towards familiarity – familiarity with the environment, with the people, and with the self. This blog post focuses on the three main insights I took from two of the workshops I attended.

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A Shift Of Perspective

Tuesday 18 September, 2018

In the previous post, I talked about how it can take years for certain steps to be taken, even when things seem to be in place for progress to occur. Sometimes we are simply not ready. This is due in part to our conviction that the way we see the world is the only way to see it. No other perspectives exist, or if they do they are out of reach and out of sight, too easily dismissed or ignored in favour of the familiar. (A version of this occurs when two people vehemently disagree with each other’s view of the world.)

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Update – One Week On

Thursday 23 August, 2018

Just over a week has gone by since the end of the silent retreat. Initially, I had wondered how long the effects would last. Given the previous post, it’s no surprise to report that the effects are still there. The intensity from the silence and the satsangs has understandably dropped off a little, but there is a fundamental change to how I feel. And it’s building momentum. It is precisely as Mooji had said: The more you are with the is-ness, the more it will draw you in.

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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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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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